Lego of him.

Toys The Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler ... rendered in Lego. Nice Tardis. [via]

Interpretation of Ophelia

Interpretation of Ophelia
Originally uploaded by Terri Lynn.

bardseyeview: A Shakespearean Glance at the People and Issues of the Day.

"Shakespeare has now laid out on the chessboard of his imagination the pieces of his Hamlet Game. We have the anguished, hypersensitive Hamlet, the innocent and somewhat passive Ophelia, Polonius the lover of intrigue and indirection, the upright but absent Laertes, the disconsolate Ghost, the presumptuous-toward-Hamlet and accused-by-the-Ghost King Claudius, and the king's overly-dexterous new wife Gertrude. With the pieces lined up on the board, Shakespeare begins that series of scenes of haunting strangeness and disorienting depth that make up the heart of the play." -- Jeremy Abrams is currently working through Hamlet offering his commentary.


Sport "Over a dozen additional indoor ski facilities have been constructed in various cities around the world in the last few decades, including the one shown in the photographs displayed above: Ski Dubai, a 22,500-square meter indoor skiing area boasting five slopes of varying difficulty, height, and steepness housed within the Mall of the Emirates in the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Other interior photos of the facility as well as additional pictures taken during its construction in 2005 can be found in the gallery section of the Ski Dubai web site.)" -- Snopes

Branagh Hamlet DVD Campaign

Regular reader Nathan has just sent this email he's recieved ...

Hello everyone,

I am writing to let you know that the 2006 DVD Release of Hamlet may be in jeopardy. I spoke with Mr. Branagh's assistant who shared some potentially disappointing news. She explained that last month Warner was very excited about the project and spoke with Ken about his ideas for additional content for the DVD release; however, last week, they
received an email stating that the release may be moved back until January 2008!!!

As a result, I am writing to let you know, that once again, on Valentine's Day we are going to let Warner Bros. know how many of us have been awaiting this DVD release and that a 2008 release date is NOT acceptable.

Be sure to visit the website on Tuesday, February 14th to send your email to the "powers that be" at Warner Bros. This year's letter urges them not to delay the release and emphasizes the fact that this is indeed the 10th Anniversary of the film. Also, it recommends a High-Definition release of the film because Hamlet is one of only seven films in the past 10 years to be filmed in 70mm format and thereby making it a perfect candidate for an HD-DVD release.

Thanks for all of your support!

Mark Cassello

This has been on and off the release schedule for years. I've a VHS and a V-CD copy and they're fine, but don't really demonstrate the clarity of the photography. It's a real shame -- I absolutely suggest that we take action on the 14th ...

Enfolded Hamlet

Tracks the changes between the First Folio and Second Quarto. [via]


Film A film which would work best for comedians and people who have an inside knowledge of the industry, The Aristocrats is nonetheless an amusing if not always laugh out loud exploration of a single joke. Cleverly, the producers have decided to highlight the philosophical implications of the story more than anything else which increases its value as a social document. Probably worth seeing at least for Sarah Silverman's version and South Park's and Paul Reiser and Bob Saget (who in the space of a sentence sums up actually what it was like being in the sitcom Full House with the Olsen twins...)


TV "Chloe always made me laugh - in fact we set each other off. We used to play little games with each other. In the early days the music went, "Ready to knock, turn the lock" and so on the first day I was working with Chloe, on the take as we started off it went, "Ready to knock" and I just whispered, "Show us your cock". She started laughing and I started laughing because she was, so when the camera came to use we were all jollity. The following day she tried to do the same to me. So it went "Ready to knock," and she said, "Give us a flash - oh no bugger". So I'm laughing at her getting it wrong. But we did set each other off. But, alas, I could never make Carol laugh, not ever." -- Fred Harris interviewed as part of a majestic round table (or round the bar rather) with the cast of Play School.


Film "Case in point: director Renny Harlin's Deep Blue Sea, a film that pits a number of otherwise quality actors and LL Cool J against a pack (a school? a gaggle?) of super-smart sharks in a collapsing undersea research base. You already know where I'm headed with this, don't you? Deep Blue Sea is a fun, stupid movie that has the distinction of having the Best Death Scene Ever." -- David Campbell suggests the best death scene ever in any film.


Film I mis-read this as 'Tarkovsky Directing Dark Crystal Sequel'. I was thinking 'what, it's going to be three hours long, have very long scenes of Skeksis saying making important philosophical points about the nature of being, interesting use of sound and an open ending which could mean anything?'


Film So here we are again with the Oscar nominations which I somehow forgot about until tonight. I'm going to take things very seriously this year and just write my first impressions. Just remember, I've only seen these nominations about two seconds before I've started to type.

Best picture
Brokeback Mountain
Goodnight, and Good Luck

[I've only seen Crash. But I think Munich will win. Because it's an important film.]

Best director
Steven Spielberg - Munich
Ang Lee - Brokeback Mountain
Paul Haggis - Crash
Bennett Miller - Capote
George Clooney - Good Night, and Good Luck

[Wow, that's boring. What do you think are the chances that the Best Director will have directed the Best Film?]

Best actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Capote
David Strathairn - Good Night, and Good Luck
Heath Ledger - Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix - Walk the Line
Terrence Howard - Hustle and Flow

[Wow -- I never thought I'd see Heath Ledger's name in that list. But I think Philip Seymour Hoffman will win.]

Best actress
Dame Judi Dench - Mrs Henderson Presents
Felicity Huffman - Transamerica
Charlize Theron - North Country
Reese Witherspoon - Walk the Line
Keira Knightley - Pride and Prejudice

[It's interesting that none of those nominations are for films up for Best Picture -- unlike Best Actor. It's a Knightly year.]

Best supporting actress
Rachel Weisz - The Constant Gardener
Michelle Williams - Brokeback Mountain
Frances McDormand - North Country
Amy Adams - Junebug
Catherine Keener - Capote

[Wow -- I never thought I'd see Michelle William's name in that list. I hope she wins just for her sterling work in make Dawson's Creek watchable in the lean period. But I think Rahcel Weisz will win. Which is fair too.]

Best supporting actor
George Clooney - Syriana
Jake Gyllenhaal - Brokeback Mountain
Paul Giamatti - Cinderella Man
Matt Dillon - Crash
William Hurt - A History of Violence

[Give it to Paul Giamatti for the disasterous treatment he received last year over Sideways.]

Best foreign language film
Don't Tell (Italy)
Joyeux Noel (France)
Paradise Now (Palestinian territories)
Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (Germany)
Tsotsi (South Africa)


Best animated feature film
Howl's Moving Castle
Corpse Bride
Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit

[I really haven't been going to the cinema much.]

Best adapted screenplay

Brokeback Mountain
The Constant Gardener
A History of Violence

[The Constant Gardener may win. They all might.]

Best original screenplay
Good Night, and Good Luck
Match Point
The Squid and the Whale

[Wow. Woody gets his usual Best Original Screenplay nomination. Remember just before Christmas when everyone was talking about Match Point as a possible massive contender. Then people saw it. Oh well. Oh and -- where the hell is Serenity?]

Best music (score)
Brokeback Mountain
The Constant Gardener
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride and Prejudice


Best music (song)
In the Deep - Crash
It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp - Hustle and Flow
Travelin' Thru - Transamerica

[I want the Pimp one to win. Just because I can't believe that a song with that title is going to be performed at The Oscars.]

Best documentary feature
Darwin's Nightmare
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
March of the Penguins
Street Fight

[March of the Penguins will win]

Best documentary short subject
The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club
God Sleeps in Rwanda
The Mushroom Club
A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin


Best visual effects
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
War of the Worlds

[It just occured to me. No Star Wars yet. Sorry George.]

Best cinematography
Batman Begins
Brokeback Mountain
Goodnight, and Good Luck
Memoirs of a Geisha
The New World

[Batman Begins? Amazing.]

Best art direction
Goodnight, and Good Luck
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Pride and Prejudice

[Harry Potter? Amazing.]

Best animated short film
The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation
The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello
One Man Band


Best short film
Ausreisser (The Runaway)
The Last Farm
Our Time is Up
Six Shooter

[You see you can't choose because these things aren't ever seen anywhere.]

Best costume design
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mrs Henderson Presents
Pride and Prejudice
Walk The Line

[Much of a muchness. My money's on Geisha.]

Best make-up
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Cinderella Man
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

[Best make-up? Star Wars's only nomination is Best Make-up? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha etc.]

Best sound mixing
The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
Walk The Line
War of the Worlds

[Actually my money is on War of the Worlds. Although there was the KONG!]

Sound editing
King Kong
Memoirs of a Geisha
War of the Worlds

[Actually my money is on War of the Worlds. Although there was the KONG!]

Best film editing
Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener
Walk The Line

[So alright I should have gone to the pictures some more. But I was busy writing essays about films. It's a thing.]

Lifetime Achievement Award
Director and writer Robert Altman

[Not feeling guilty are we?]

The Onion have their own ideas.


Film ""I always think I love work," she says between spoonfuls of soup. "And I knew early on that I wanted to be an actress. Then I meet people who have truly dedicated their lives to acting, and I realise that I'm so completely in the back seat." At least you seem to believe in what you do, I suggest. This is met with a pensive gaze, and a guilty smile, which frankly wasn't the reaction I was expecting. Then she leans in conspiratorially and says: "Sometimes I believe in it. And sometimes I think it's a little bit shit." If she did have a publicist, the poor soul would have keeled over at that." -- Ryan Gilbey interviews Natascha McElhone inevitably in The Guardian.

E v a K a t z l e r

@ Pizza Express Jazz, Dean Street
27th February

10 Dean Street
London W1D 3RW

Telephone: 020 7437 9595 to book

All info at

Dreamstone Moon.

Books  Sometimes its difficult to find a fresh way of reviewing one of these books. There are only so many times you can describe your love or dislike of the prose, the setting, whether Sam or the Doctor are in character, if you were gripped or not; if the experience was a good one, bad one, indifferent one, or something you'd just want to forget. You want whatever you're writing to be interesting, exciting, impressive or at the very least interesting. What's attractive about Paul Leonard's book is that it made me feel. It made me think. It didn't make me want to actually try and intellectualise. It's a book which feeds back on personal investment for reasons which are probably, and wierdly, nothing to do with the qualities of the plot.

For the first time, in a long time, whilst reading a Doctor Who novel, I actually began to think about who I am, where I am, and what that means. This isn't some post thirtysomething birthday existential crisis ... I don't think. I don't think it would have been prompted just as easily by a pop song, a play or a film. I think that just sometimes you'll find yourself on a train, on a bus, waiting in a university foyer, thumbing pages of just another Doctor Who novel and somewhere along the line the narrative takes a back seat to how you feel about what you're reading.

I think the question this book is asking is: If someone doesn't call you for a few months if it means that they're waiting for you to call them, and if you don't call them, if it's because you think they don't want to see you any more, and that if you do call them whether you could stand the idea of them making excuses not to see you. Or if that's just obviously paranoia and they've lost your number. Not that there is a real world example.

The Big Dumb Object this time is the titular moon, a giant crystal form, which broken down can effect people's dreams for good and ill. It's innevitably being greedily mined and a group protestors are trying to stop their work. But obviously something sinister is happening and it's up to the Doctor and Sam to find out what that is and stop it. Interestingly, for a change, it doesn't seem to be concious decision on their part. They just happen to be in the situation and solving the mystery is a means to and end -- being together again.

It's a story about green issues, man's inhumanity to the universe, and allows us to see Sam's beliefs in something more than the abstract terms we're used to. She joins the environmentalists, despite some chemistry with Daniel from the other side, simply because without the Doctor, they're closest to who she is, and predictably she's the only human in the group. We initally meet almost all of the characters in the novel through her point of view and without the Doctor around, it's as though she's keen to find a replacement. There's some excellent characterisation in the tentacled Krakanite Aloisse or later the artist Anton, but neither quite fulfills the role which highlights the Doctor's absense from her life, in much the way that her disappearance from Legacy of the Daleks heightened our appreciation of the support she provides for him.

The book isn't post modern enough not to feature the timelord. He's there, but it's very much in a secondary role. He's forever bumping into people Sam's already been around, but oddly, at times, he doesn't seem too concerned to see her again and then at others desperate. He's dragged about by all in sundry, his forward momentum controlled. Which isn't to say he doesn't save the day. My favourite line, if you'll pardon the spoiler, happens at the very end with "After a while the Doctor realised that he'd just killed a man with the force of an argument. It wasn't a very pleasant thought."

One of my favourite films is Serendipity. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale meet over a glove in Bloomingdales in New York, fall for each other then leave it up to fate as to whether they will see each other again. Throughout the film they come very close, absently passing each other in cars, on golf driving ranges and at weddings. It's idiosyncratic, infuriating but also intelligent and it seems to have been unfairly forgotten. This book is just like that.

The Doctor and Sam are in the narrative but apart. I've mentioned before that it's a really bad idea to keep these characters out of the same scenes because its only in those moments that the prose flies. This is still true. But for the same reasons that Serendipity works, because of those infuriating near misses, Dreamstone Moon is surprising. Cleverly they come close to being together but are kept apart not just by crowds or comm systems, but more importantly their attitudes to one another. The Doctor wonders by the end if he shouldn't just let Sam go off and see the universe alone now and stop meddling, just at the time she decides that she can't speak to him, even though she knows he's alive..

Hopefully their reunion in the next book Seeing I doesn't wait until the last page...


TV James at The Chaucery Blog has transcribes and tries to understand what's happening with the BBC Micro code on display in The Twin Dilemma and Attack of the Cybermen. Screenshots included (I'd forgotten about that pink blouse...) Sudden waves of nostalgia as I remember trying to learn BBC Basic along with Fred Harris in the 1980s using my Acorn Electron. [via]



About At what point does blogging become noise. I've just taken my nightly look at Bloglines (my RSS aggregator) and having had a clearout over the weekend, there's already some sites which have posted over fifty times. Not naming any names (but what the hell, Boing Boing, for example) it does come to the stage were you have to wonder if a human being has the time to sit down and read all that text and visit all those sites. They're not supposed to of course; the idea is, much like a newspaper, to read the title and go forth into the items which appear interesting. But with all of that writing its difficult to actually find anything interesting and have the inclination to read it once you get there. Any suggestions (other than turning the computer off and going to read a book instead)?


Elsewhere "It's a holdover from newspaper lingo. The 'jump' in a newspaper article is the point where the article is interrupted on one page and continued at that point on another page, with a notation of where to go to continue the article. They serve the same purpose: to conserve "front page" space (or inside page space, though that's less common) for as much of as many articles as possible." -- Eldritch answers my AskMe question, "Does anyone know the origin of the phrases 'after the jump' or 'more after the jump'?"


TV "So, what would it take for a pay-per-view-only West Wing to be financially viable? I realize the economics of Hollywood involve more trickery than a Harry Potter movie -- as Edward J. Epstein points out regularly in Slate -- but here are some basic numbers: The West Wing has about 8 million viewers per week. It costs about $6 million per episode. In other words, if every person who now watches the show paid $1 a week, TWW would more than pay for itself." -- Slate writer, Andy Bowers wonders whether the show could go pay-per-view.

I've seen articles like this before and every time they miss (to be fair because they've never heard of them) that Doctor Who began doing this in the late eighties and are still doing it now. In the novels and audios, the franchise was effectively pay-per-view -- the fan had to shell out to find out what happened to The Doctor next. Although the Big Finish audio productions are generally done on a shoe-string and I've read mostly break even, this is all that Bowers is advocating.


Food "Bryan, a young server with whom I'm training, brings me up to speed on the crazy things diners do. They let their children run rampant, a peril to the children as well as the servers. They assume that the first table they are shown to is undesirable and insist on a different one, even if it's demonstrably less appealing. They decline to read what's in front of them and want to hear all their options. Servers disparagingly call this a "menu tour." I acquire a new vocabulary. To "verbalize the funny" is to tell the kitchen about a special request. "Campers" are people who linger forever at tables. "Verbal tippers" are people who offer extravagant praise in lieu of 20 percent." -- Frank Bruni goes undercover as a waiter for The New York Times. [via]


Shakespeare "-- the Duke's office has been turned into a television studio. Sofas etc. gone. Lots of cameras, wires, microphones. Desk set up to face large doors, three chairs and a desk mike in the middle. Windows unshuttered, lots of light plus television lights, monitors, etc. Also a film crew, make-up people and so on. The hustle and bustle before a show starts. People getting equipment ready, furniture organised and so on. The Duke enters brusquely, a brief applause which he curtly acknolwedges. This isn't his 'real' return, it's strictly pre-show stuff. Obviously already talked to Angelo etc. He goes straight to Peter, darkly dressed sinister looking friar who is out of place." -- Someone is blogging their notes for what looks like a thesis about Measure for Measure. They also have a scene-by-scene investigation here.


Originally uploaded by vebelfetzer.

From a vivid set of photos which appear to riff on John William Waterhouse's famous painting.


Teaching "We?re moving on to Othello. For today, we should think especially about what tragedy is. What are the conventions of the genre? How are tragedy and comedy related; in what ways do they operate differently?"

Blogging class notes. An enterprising and clued in university lecturer is letting his students know what's coming up in their 'Introduction to Shakespeare' class via a blog. That's amazing and useful.

The Death of Hamnet and the Making of Hamlet

"Writing a play about Hamlet, in or around 1600, may not have been Shakespeare's own idea. At least one play, now lost, about the Danish prince who avenges his father's murder had already been performed on the English stage, successfully enough to be casually alluded to by contemporary writers, as if everyone had seen it or at least knew about it. Someone in the Lord Chamberlain's Men, with an eye on revenues, may simply have suggested to Shakespeare that the time might be ripe for a new, improved version of the Hamlet story." -- Stephen Greenblatt


Shakespeare "An interesting point in English was raised the other day. We've moseyed our way on to Act III of Hamlet. We skipped a part of II.ii because apparently, it was Shakespeare talking about his views on theatre at the time. That led to something about his children, who were killed by the plague. So my English teacher says that there's no one left who's related to Shakespeare to collect all the royalties from every copy of his plays that were sold, although that could easily be rectified if they could get a DNA sample or something and match it with someone." -- Timothy Ng's useful discussion on who should be picking up the bard's royalties.

Hamlet page

Originally uploaded by kevinthoule.

Enjoying Hamlet

"Hamlet is the first work of literature to look squarely at the stupidity, falsity and sham of everyday life, without laughing and without easy answers. In a world where things are not as they seem, Hamlet's genuineness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity make him special." -- Ed Friedlander's extemely useful and fabulously long guide to enjoying Hamlet. This is going to take me weeks to read.


Music "In between intense writing sessions for her next studio album, expected in 2007, Alanis Morissette will spend this year working on a memoir. "It will be all the wisdom I've accrued in the thirty-one years of my life," the singer-songwriter says with a laugh. "A lot about relationships, fame, travel, body-image issues, spirit -- with a lot of self-deprecating humor peppered throughout, 'cause I just can't help it." -- Steven Baltin reports for Rolling Stone.

Insert usual discussion about is she old enough etc. A new album already. It doesn't seem that long since the last one.

[checks AllMusic]

Two years, not counting the Pill rerecord. She'd best get one with it then.


TV Edgar Governo: Historian of Things That Never Were -- Now linked to 369 timelines! For chronology junkies, here is a list of pages online consolidating fictional timelines. Includes a mention for this excellent and helpful page which attempts to rationalise The West Wing which is just a mess. This page tries to work out were the missing year went. I've just emailed Edgar about this omission.